On the BLM’s history site, Bruce Babbitt - Secretary of the Interior under Clinton and former Arizona Governor - discusses the evolution of the BLM-managed National Conservation Lands, from the designation of the first BLM monument to the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 that we celebrate this week.
About the system, Babbit says:
During the final year of our administration, we paused to assess the results. We had created 14 BLM monuments through Presidential proclamations. Congress had continued to add wilderness, wild and scenic rivers, conservation areas, and national trails to BLM lands. The next logical step was to draw all these conservation lands together in an administrative structure, which we named the National Landscape Conservation System.
Almost a decade later, the future of the system was secured when President Obama authorized the National Landscape Conservation System as part of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act in March 2009. The legislation also added more than 1 million acres to the system.
This week, we celebrate the anniversary of the Public Lands Act that established the National Landscape Conservation System, now called the National Conservation Lands. Read Bruce Babbit’s story about these BLM-managed lands.
Pictured above: Bruce Babbitt at the BLM Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Area in Oregon, and photos of the first BLM monument designated under Babbitt - the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. See more photos by BLMer Bob Wick on BLM’s My Public Lands Flickr.